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A Muslim group plans to open a worship center in Abingdon within the next few months, which a member of the group says will be the county’s first mosque.

Harford County Education Society, a group with an office on Laurel Bush Road that is registered as a Muslim nonprofit, is working to convert a house on five acres at 3014 Philadelphia Road into a 20-seat house of worship.

Rehan Khan, a spokesman for the group, said Muslims in Harford County have had to go to Baltimore County for services.

“There are more than 100 Muslim families and not a single mosque,” Khan said, adding the group is excited to have its own building.

He also said he expects the center to grow as BRAC brings more people to the area.

“Now that people are moving in, we are going to have a mosque,” he said. “Right now, we are a very small group.”

The society came before the county’s development advisory committee in June 2010 with a plan for a house of worship, but failed an inspection report in late March of this year.

That property has a house on it, and was bought from John J. Jones Jr., for $290,000, according to tax records.

The county approved a site plan in July 2009, with seven parking spaces and potentially three employees.

The plan proposed a transfer of land to accommodate required setbacks for a house of worship.

The planning and zoning department also approved a landscape and lighting plan, and a surety bond of $4,080 was submitted to ensure the planting of approved landscaping, according to the site plan approval letter.

Richard Truitt, deputy director of inspections for the county, wrote in an e-mail in April that the inspection report showed the home does not meet building and accessibility codes that are applicable to the structure being converted from a one-family or two-family dwelling to a mixed-occupancy classification of assembly and storage, such as the proposed religious center.

Khan said the main issue is making some road improvements to Philadelphia Road (Route 7) because it is a state road, as well as updating the building to meet accessibility requirements.

“They have asked for a few changes and we are working on that, and hopefully we will make those changes,” he said. “The major block is it has to be built according to State Highway [Administration]. In the next few days, we will have that highway [improvement] built.”

Khan said once the group is settled in the new building, it will hold an international festival for the general public to taste different ethnic foods.

“Once we have things in place, then we will invite the community to see us and have some kind of outreach program,” he said.

He also hinted at the possibility of growth in the future, although there are no specific plans.

“We are not building a multi-million dollar building yet,” he said.

A website for the mosque, www.masjidalfalaah.com, identifies the group as Masjid Al-Falaah, “the first masjid [mosque] of Harford County.”

It says the group was established in 2007 and offers daily prayers, Sunday school, educational activities and a Quran program at the office at 2107 Laurel Bush Road.

user comments (3)


user famig52 says...

with all the crap that's going on with the muslims we got to have a damn mosque in Harford Co. That's bullshit. I'm totally against it.Let them build somewhere else like in another country.


user bsizzle says...

Famig52, the constitution gives us freedom of religion, which everyone deserves, so they require a place to assemble.... even if their religion leads to extremism, just think you'll have a place to firebomb now when you feel angry as muslims!!!!!


user antmoore18 says...

@famig52...you sound very ignorant and uneducated...if u knew anything u would know that the largest and most populated muslim country in the world is INDONESIA..how many terrorists are from indonesia? any u know of? i didnt think so! so stop associating islam with terrorism cause they are not related at all! im a muslim from harford county and have lived in harford county my whole life. i was not born muslim so i know both sides, this is such a big relief for me to not to have to travel to baltimore on fridays to go to service...but its ignorant people like you who make it hard for someone to just simply practice their religion.....their are priests molesting young kids in catholic churches all over the world, i dont see anyone having a problem with any catholic churches...because u cant blame the whole religion on the actions of a couple people and its the same with islam, stop blaming the religion on a couple peoples actions.


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